Diego Simeone picked his historic Wanda-ready XI with the usual suspects, including a Antoine Griezmann, fresh off a suspension from the season’s first game.
Gabi slotted back into an eclectic midfield including Thomas Partey, Saúl and Koke while Ángel Correa partnered up top with the blonde bombshell Griezmann.
The first half was a collection of missed chances, some nice possession and passing and an almost ‘too’ Atlético Madrid headline in the making when Borja Baston, an academy graduate sold to Swansea two summers ago, broke free and forced an excellent save from Jan Oblak.
The second half was far more impressive from the start. Yannick Carrasco put an under-worked Málaga back line under pressure from the moment he entered and that created openings for Atlético’s other attacking players.
Atlético made their breakthrough after 61 minutes when Correa made what is becoming a trademark run, and crossed low to the front post for Griezmann to slot home beyond ex-canterano Roberto.
Fernando Torres came on moments later and even with the hopes of him being the first ever goalscorer at the Wanda Metropolitano gone, the crowd cheered him on at every chance in the hope he might grab one — not just for the sake of the history books but for the sake of the game, the three points and putting the game out of reach.
He couldn’t, and neither could anyone else, but they didn’t need to as Malaga ran out of ideas and time — just the way Atlético like it.
It was fitting that Atlético, although moving to a new stadium and starting a new era, won in a way they often would at the Vicente Calderón, and will likely do a lot more of in their new home. While Simeone now stands in a different (and much bigger) technical area every home weekend from here on out, his philosophy remains the same, passed down to him by the legendary Luis Aragonés: ganar, ganar, ganar y volver a ganar — win, win, win and continue to win.